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Enjoy Eternal Bliss

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Album Review

That this mostly instrumental U.K. quintet clearly adores the strain of epic, fit-for-an-elegantly-sad-movie rock of groups such as Mogwai, Godspeed You Black Emperor!, and M83 is pretty well apparent from the start — besides the melancholy black-and-white/smudged album art, there's the telling fact that all but one of the four songs on the album come out over a quarter of an hour long. With the scope of the band's vision delineated clearly enough, though, Yndi Halda show evident promise throughout this album; if they are still standing in the shadows of others they might yet get to somewhere more individual as time and exploration take them. Certainly they know all the right moves and don't mind adding in a twist or two along the way — opening song "Dash and Blast" relies on a single violin rather than a massed set of strings, often playing in counterpoint to the swells and collapses of feedback and high, yearning guitar solos. Sprightlier moments also crop up throughout the piece, while the massed wordless vocals toward the song's end add a final thrilling touch. "A Song for Starlit Beaches" is the other definite standout, with a lovely title happily matched by a generally understated performance and arrangement for most of its length, making the admittedly inevitable concluding explosion-followed-by-extended-coda all that much more dramatic. A section that's just piano for some minutes is a highlight, keeping the pace of the song moving just so into a further part where violin and drums take over and complete the mood.

Enjoy Eternal Bliss, Yndi Halda
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